In the wake of Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla. people across the country are looking for solutions to prevent similar massacres in the future.
One such solution-seeker is the president of the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) and Lt. Governor candidate Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh. She’s asking the Alabama Legislature to consider a 2013 school safety law, which was passed for Franklin County, to be considered statewide.
Spearheaded by Red Bay-Democrat State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, the Alabama legislature passed HB404 in 2013, which allows suitable teachers, school personnel, and locals to volunteer to be trained as Reserve Deputy Sheriffs and carry firearms on school grounds in Franklin County. Cavanaugh says the law has has given the state a model to study for almost five years when it comes to the subject of school safety
“I find it shameful when people, on both sides of the aisle, play politics with tragedies. This is an exploitation tactic used almost exclusively by liberals, hotheads, and children,” Cavanaugh said in a press release. “Yesterday there was a knee-jerk reaction to try to capture the headlines of every news story in Alabama for political gain. I believe we need strong, measured leadership that puts our children and teachers first- not political pandering.”
Cavanaugh added, “Yesterday, I spoke with Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver, along with the bill’s sponsor, and the bill seems to be working in Franklin County. I would ask that the legislature look at this bill and look how well it has worked for Franklin County. This bill could be expanded to a statewide level on a bipartisan basis, as the 2013 bill passed without a single ‘nay’ vote in both the House and the Senate.”
This bill would allow local control of school safety, giving decision-making power to a county’s sheriff, principals, and school board.
According to Cavanaugh, many Alabama counties do not have the funding for resource officers, leaving law enforcement with a long response time to schools in an active shooter situation. Which is precisely why HB404 was introduced and passed in the first place — following the Sandy Hook school shooting, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office realized that their response time in a similar situation would be over thirty minutes to East Franklin.